Sean Reynolds (Emmerdale)

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Sean Reynolds
Emmerdale character
Portrayed by Stephen McGann
Duration 1999–2002
First appearance 10 March 1999
Last appearance 4 January 2002
Introduced by Kieran Roberts
Classification Former, regular
Occupation Haulage manager
Home Cheshire

Sean Reynolds is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Stephen McGann. He made his first screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 10 March 1999.


McGann joined the cast of Emmerdale as Sean, the patriarch of the Reynolds family, in February 1999.[1] The role of Sean marked McGann's return to television following an absence of several years.[2] The actor revealed he had some initial reservations about joining Emmerdale, but as soon as he arrived on set they did not last long.[2] McGann said "Within minutes of arriving I felt I knew what I was doing here and I was enjoying it. There's good and bad in every genre, whether it's films, television or theatre, but I have to say I think I've picked a good soap."[2]

In November 2001, McGann announced he was quitting his role as Sean.[3] The actor made his final screen appearance as Sean on 4 January 2002.[4] Shortly after McGann departed Emmerdale, producers axed his character's family, saying they could not develop them any further.[5]


Sean was introduced as a haulage boss and "disgruntled rival" of Chris Tate (Peter Amory).[6][7] He becomes determined to put Chris out of business and McGann commented "The town ain't big enough for the both of them. Sean is a ruthless and sly operator. He's going to employ all sorts of underhand tactics to get what he wants. This feud is going to run and run."[7] Sean and his family later moved into the village and his wife Angie (Freya Copeland) suggested he and Chris become partners in Tate Haulage.[1][6] A writer for the Finnish television station, MTV3 described Sean as "a decent family man and hard-working employee."[8] Inside Soap's Steven Murphy described Sean as "hard-nosed".[2] McGann admitted he loved playing "the edginess" of his character, saying "If you are playing some doe-eyed hero it's cool but it's more fun to play baddies."[9]


Sean Reynolds first arrived in Emmerdale on 10 March 1999 along with his wife Angie, and two children Marc and Ollie. Sean settled down with his family in Emmerdale, and set up his own haulage firm. However, he found himself in stiff competition with rival businessman Chris Tate, who, like Sean, owned a successful haulage firm. Sean's stubbornness not to let Chris gain the upper-hand often got in the way of his own business, and there were several confrontations between Sean and Chris. At one point, Angie suggested that Sean become business partners with Chris, but Sean abruptly brushed this idea off. Sean's establishment as an unattentive husband and unfit father made him notorious in Emmerdale as a potential misery, and he became very unpopular with his fellow residents.

In February 2001, Sean's father Len joined him in Emmerdale following the sudden death of Sean's mother and Len's wife Eileen. During this time, Sean embarked on an extramarital sexual affair with local businesswoman Tara Thornfield. Tara had seduced Sean after the pair both discovered that they had developed romantic feelings for each other, and hs subsequently been unable to resist temptation. Tara had previously had a passionate affair with another married man, Biff Fowler. Sean and Tara's affair was exposed in 2001, but Sean's wife Angie handled it well. Never-the-less, Sean and Tara decided not to start a life together, as they both felt that it would be a betrayal for Sean's children. However, they seemed to change their minds, and on 4 January 2002, they gave into temptation once again, and drove off into the sunset to start a new life in Chester where Sean had got a new job.


In August 2002, McGann was nominated for an Echo Entertainment Award for his portrayal of Sean.[10] Billy Sloan of the Sunday Mail said McGann's character "achieved notoriety when he had a steamy, marriage-wrecking affair with upper-crust Lady Tara Thornfield".[3] The Daily Mirror's Sally Morgan branded Sean a "love-cheat husband with a selfish streak who cared little for his own kids."[11] While Tim Randall of the Daily Record called him a "love rat".[4]


  1. ^ a b Sloan, Billy (28 October 2001). "What rough lad doesn't fancy a wee bit of posh?; Emmerdale star Steve on his love of Lady Tara". Sunday Mail. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Murphy, Steven (10–23 July 1999). "Life is sweet". Inside Soap. Attic Futura (UK) Ltd (131): 31–32. 
  3. ^ a b Sloan, Billy (13 January 2002). "I walked out of Emmerdale and right across the roof of the world". Sunday Mail. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Randall, Tim (1 December 2001). "Soap gossip...". Daily Record. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "Emmerdale bosses axing two families". Thomas Crosbie Media. 25 July 2002. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Parkin 2002, p.111.
  7. ^ a b "Here comes trouble...". Inside Soap. Attic Futura (UK) Ltd (122): 15. 6–19 March 1999. 
  8. ^ "Sean Reynolds - Stephen McGann". Emmerdale (in Finnish). MTV3. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  9. ^ Eden, Jenny (4 August 2001). "Interview: Steve McGann". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  10. ^ Grant, Peter (9 August 2002). "Vote today for your top telly favourites". Liverpool Echo. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  11. ^ Morgan, Sally (12 January 2002). "My great adventure to the Himalayas". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 

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